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Pushpak- Reusable Landing Vehicle Landing experiment Conducted by ISRO

Utkarsh Classes 23-03-2024
Pushpak- Reusable Landing Vehicle Landing experiment Conducted by ISRO Space 4 min read

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) made an important announcement on March 22 regarding their work on reusable launch vehicle (RLV) technology, called Pushpak. 

  • They successfully completed the RLV LEX-02 landing experiment, which is a major step towards developing reusable launch vehicle technology. 
  • The experiment took place at the Aeronautical Test Range in Chitradurga, Karnataka and was the second in a series of such endeavors. 
  • This latest experiment demonstrated the autonomous landing capability of a RLV under off-nominal initial conditions upon release from a helicopter, following the successful completion of the RLV-LEX-01 mission last year.

About Pushpak

  • The RLV was designed to perform complex maneuvers, fix errors and land on a runway completely autonomously. 
  • The vehicle, called Pushpak, was lifted by an Indian Air Force Chinook helicopter and then released from a height of 4.5 kilometers. After its release, at a distance of 4 kilometers from the runway, Pushpak navigated independently towards the runway while making corrections.
  • It landed precisely on the runway and came to a stop using a brake parachute, landing gear brakes and nose wheel steering system. 
  • This mission simulated the approach and high-speed landing conditions that a RLV encounters when it returns from space. With this second mission, ISRO has once again demonstrated the navigation, control systems, landing gear and deceleration systems necessary for a high-speed, autonomous landing of a space-returning vehicle. 

Reuse Capability 

The winged body and all flight systems used in the RLV-LEX-01 mission were re-used in the RLV-LEX-02 mission after certification and clearance. This shows the capability to reuse flight hardware and systems in this mission. The airframe structure and landing gear were reinforced to withstand higher landing loads based on observations from RLV-LEX-01.

Execution of Pushpak

  • The successful mission execution was done by the collaborative efforts of  the Liquid Propulsion System Centre (LPSC), the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), and the ISRO Inertial Systems Unit (IISU). 
  • ISRO Chairman S Somanath commended the team for flawlessly executing such a complex mission. Dr. S Unnikrishnan Nair, Director of VSSC, highlighted the success of the landing experiment, noting that ISRO's repeated successes demonstrate their mastery of terminal phase maneuvering, landing, and energy management entirely on their own. This accomplishment represents a critical milestone towards ISRO's future endeavors.

FAQ

Answer: Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV)

Answer: Chinook.

Answer: Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), the Liquid Propulsion System Centre (LPSC), and the ISRO Inertial Systems Unit (IISU)
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